A Letter To The Mama Deciding To Potty Train

Dear Mama ,

So you’ve begun looking…googling…pinterest-spying…

You’ve bought all the gadgets, gizmos and do-hickeys…

You’ve done the three-day, two-day and the just let-er-rip theory…

Yet your child still isn’t sitting pretty on the potty…

What’s a mom to do…

Here’s the kicker….


Do Nothing.


All those awesome moms out there who have “trained” their child to sit on that throne….well done…you rock!

But I am here to tell you…it wasn’t the method that did it.

It was the child…and their mom (or dad/grandparent/auntie..whoever is raising them!)

The toddler was ready…and the parent knew them well enough to see that…that’s what made it work.

You’re probably thinking I am about to tell you to stop trying, or to let the toddler lead the way…and in a way I am…but not completely

You see, many daycares refuse to potty train kids…why?


If a child isn’t ready, they aren’t going to use that potty.

No amount of expertise will convince a child otherwise…

And the amount of time it will take to train them, when they aren’t ready, is unfathomable if you are needing to care for many other children.

And if they are ready…the parent will know, and it will happen quickly.

You need to trust your gut and trust your child.

How do I know this? My own dear children taught me.

Oh, I was pretty proud of myself after my first was “trained” at 18 months of age.

A Letter To The Mama Deciding To Potty Train www.lifeofbrucks.com

But as I look back, I know the truth…I just knew him really well.

He was a compliant child…wanted to show mommy he could do things…never really argued about much.

He was also a very routine kid…everyday after lunch and right before nap, he would need a full diaper change.

So, what did I do…I had him sit on the toilet right after lunch.


Everyday we did this and almost everyday it worked! He was using the potty in no time.

But here’s the truth. I was the one who was trained.

Trained to watch for signs he needed to pee.

Trained to hurry at the drop of a hat toward a potty when I realized he hadn’t gone yet!

As for night training…he was no where near ready until he was older…and I never really questioned it…I knew he wouldn’t go to university with a diaper on so we were good…he eventually had a lot of dry nights in a row, so he just “trained” himself.

My second taught me that it was definitely not up to me when a child potty trained…it was all up to them…but I wasn’t ready to hear that!

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I made her sit on that potty as she stubbornly refused for hours!

It was torture for both of us.

But surely she will go on the potty if she has to go bad enough…HA!

Not my girl…she could hold it forever and the moment you let her off the potty she would let the tsunami reign down! It was never pretty

I just couldn’t let it go though…no, I had to win. (Win at what you ask…I don’t even think I knew!)

Eventually she trained…after a full year of fighting!


She refused and refused and eventually decided she wanted to …nothing would convince her, it had to be up to her.

You’d think from this story that it must be because I am awful at dealing with a stubborn child…but here’s the thing…I thought so too…until my third…

My third one…I finally understood…it was up to them.

He is a compliant child, just as my first was, but is no where near the maturity my first was at the same age. Nor did he have a routine down like my first did.

I decided to try…but only got tears, frustration, and a very upset little boy…

No amount of bribing, kindness, explaining, or story reading could get him to continue to sit there and try.

No, he wasn’t ready, and frankly, after the nightmare of my second…I was ready for a break from it.

You see, there are only 15 months between my first and second, and only 16 months between the second and third..so I basically just potty trained continually for 2 years...

But I had finally begun to see…

So I waited…and waited…and you know what!

One day I asked and he responded to candy (bribes..I am all for them!).

He sat there, and did it…and did it again (for candy of course)…this went on for months, more candy was handed out then I ever wanted my kids to have…but hey, he was using the potty with no fuss and no muss!

He now uses it more often than not, and I don’t need to ask him…he just runs there on his own!


I didn’t do that…he did…he was ready!

And your little one will be ready one day too.

I understand the pressures of needing to train them for certain daycares and preschools…but in all honesty, you will try, you will fight, and they will squirm…and you may get close, but in the end, it will be when they are ready.

Go ahead and try all the fancy techniques and methods…they might just work for your little one…but remember,

It will be all up to them…

You need to see your child, see what they are showing you…

and don’t let others pressure you into preforming…

or getting your little one to preform.

They are doing fine and will eventually train.

And when they do, it will be because you know them so well you understood when they were truly ready.

You know them better than you think!

Don’t give up…

just give it to them…

and let your toddlers show you what they are ready for…

and give yourself permission to be the expert on your child.

Let yourself just be there for them when they are ready…

You are doing amazing…and your little one’s love you dearly…


Hoping this encourages you to keep trying, but do what you see fit for your little one,

Butterfly Life Of Brucks lifeofbrucks.comMama Brucks

One Last Look: Have you looked in their eyes today? Life Of Brucks Blog


28 thoughts on “A Letter To The Mama Deciding To Potty Train

  1. Potty training. Such a challenge. Everyone claim one method works better than the other but in the end, the children don’t take the concept of not doing it on themselves anymore until they are good and ready. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that WE are the ones who are trained. With my kiddo, she was ready at 15 mos., but her daycare wouldn’t pay attention to the signs! Then we were moving at the end of the school year, so I had to wait until we moved and got settled before trying, so a year passed, but I did like you said, put her on the potty when she normally filled her diaper, until she got it. We also put her potty in the living room and let her run around nude. Once she connected what was happening with the potty, she was good. It was super easy. She had almost no accidents, even on long car trips. When they are ready, they get it. If we push too soon, everyone ends up miserable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. THANK YOU for this! My son is 21 months and I’m SO tired of people telling me to start trying. Everything I’ve read says don’t push it – when he’s ready, he’s ready. Plus expecting baby number 2 in about a month means there is NO WAY I want tot ake on that task right now. I have enough on my plate, and the most interest my son has shown in the toilet is showing tooth brushes in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this, it’s what I’ve been doing. However, I won’t lie I am nervous. My oldest is alllllmost three and not potty trained. I think I will feel more confident in this method once he is… But no pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

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